Vs. last year, the 2011 NBA All-Star Game, which saw LA Lakers‘ Kobe Bryant lead the West to a win and earn a fourth All-Star MVP trophy, was up 33% in viewers and 38% in adults 18-49 (5.2 million vs. 3.8 million). Heading into the 2011 NBA All-Star break, the 2010-11 NBA season on TNT is the most watched season in Turner’s 27 years of airing NBA coverage. Through 38 games, the NBA on TNT is averaging 2.4 million viewers.
Sunday SAG Awards may have been predictable and even a tad boring with no upset wins but they scored solid ratings for TNT and TBS. The simulcast of the 17th Annual SAG Awards, highlighted by the surprise appearance of Dicky Eklund alongside winner Christian Bale, who portrays him in The Fighter, and a little-known Boardwalk Empire actress hijacking the show’s best ensemble acceptance speech, was watched by a little over 5 million viewers combined on TNT and TBS, up 6% from last year. (TNT’s viewership averaged 2.8 million, up 6%, TBS’ 2.2 million, also up 6%). The gains were larger in the young demos. The combines TNT/TBS delivery in adults 18-49 was 2.2 million, up 13% from last year and 1.2 million, up 30%.
Airing against the SAG Awards was the fourth episode of Showtime’s new drama Shameless, which averaged 1.5 million viewers at 10 PM, 1.1 million of them in the 18-49 demographic. that is a new high for the series, which has been building steadily since its impressive premiere, which drew 982,000 viewers.
RATINGS RAT RACE: TNT’s ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ Continues To Impress, Jennifer Love Hewitt Movie Does Solid Business For Lifetime
In its second airing last night, TNT’s new drama series Rizzoli & Isles drew a big 7.3 million viewers, dropping only 4% from its record-setting debut last week. What’s more, the crime procedural starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander built on its Closer lead-in in total viewers (7.0 million). Last week, Rizzoli averaged 7.6 million viewers to Closer‘s 7.7 million. Just like last week, Rizzoli outperformed Closer in all key demos, including adults 18-49, in which the new series averaged 2.0 million viewers least night. Meanwhile, Closer continues to track higher than last season, with Episode 2 up 8% vs. last year.
Over at Lifetime, the original movie The Client List starring Jennifer Love Hewitt as a mom-turned-prostitute averaged 3.9 million in its premiere last night, 1.9 million of them in the 18-49 demographic, to rank as the second most-watched cable movie this year.
RATINGS RAT RACE UPDATE: Massive Audiences For ‘Deadliest Catch,’ ‘Covert Affairs’ Solid In Debut, ‘White Collar’ Down
It was an extraordinary night on cable last night, with a high-profile series debut (USA Network’s Covert Affairs), a high-profile series finale (MTV’s The Hills) and an extraordinary event episode on Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. After weeks of ratings build-up, the late Capt. Phil Harris’ final episode on Deadliest Catch last night drew a record 8.55 million viewers at 9 PM, with 6.8 million staying on for After the Catch at 10PM. This was an all-time high for Deadliest Catch in total viewers as well as adults 18-49 (5.2 million) and adults 25-54 (5.7 million), shattering the series’ previous all-time record posted just last week (5.3 million total viewers, 2.6 million in 18-49 and 3.1 million in 25-54).
Airing against the huge Catch and the series finale of The Hills (3.0 million viewers at 10 PM, 2.3 million of them in the 18-49 demo) were the debuts USA’s freshman Covert Affairs and sophomore White Collar, which did respectable business under the circumstances. It was another solid premiere for a new original cable series this summer as Covert Affairs drew 4.9 million viewers for its opener at 10 PM. It performed well in the younger demos: its adults 18-49 average, 2.104 million, makes Covert Affairs the highest-rated scripted cable premiere this year in the demographic, edging out the 2.079 million 18-49 tally for TNT’s new drama Rizzoli & Isles (Rizzoli easily tops all cable newcomers in …
UPDATE 11:30AM: TNT’s new original series Rizzoli & Isles drew some 7.6 million viewers for its premiere last night to rank as the most watched ad-supported cable series launch of all time with commercials. (Overall, it is close second to the commercial-free 2008 debut of the now-defunct TNT legal drama Raising the Bar, which attracted 7.7 million viewers.) The series, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, held onto almost 100% of its lead-in, the sixth-season premiere of The Closer, which delivered an also impressive 7.7 million viewers, up 7% over its fifth-season premiere last June. That means that TNT may have found a perfect companion for the Kyra Sedgwick-starring drama, with the two shows lifting each other up. Rizzoli & Isles built on its lead-in from The Closer among key adult demos, with 2.1 million adults 18-49 and 2.7 million adults 25-54. Lorraine Bracco co-stars on the Warner Horizon series based on Tess Gerritsen’s novels.
PREVIOUS 7:20AM: Total viewer numbers won’t be available until later today, but in the overnight ratings, TNT’s new drama Rizzoli & Isles scored a 5.6 national rating. The procedural starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander held onto 100% of its lead-in, the season premiere of TNT’s flagship drama The Closer (5.6), which rarely happens. There was also a nice bump for the veteran drama starring Kyra Sedgwick, which scored a 4.6 rating for its season premiere last summer. As for the shows’ audience, it should be pretty big – when The Closer opened with a 4.6 rating last year, it …
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